General Question

ljs22's avatar

Who gives more to charity?

Asked by ljs22 (1077points) September 15th, 2008

A friend of mine recently stated that Republicans give more to charity than Democrats. Can anyone help me get to the bottom of this issue? I have a feeling that Republican givers include those who tithe their $$ to a megachurch, only to see it used to build a bigger one. That, to me, doesn’t count. I’d love some real data from an independent source, even if I’m ultimately shown that Republicans are better people than me, a frustrated liberal. :-) Help?

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9 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

you can’t prove or disprove this sort of generalization, it’s too broad and impossible to substantiate.

I have always voted the Democratic ticket in National elections. My daughter is a staunch Republican (oh how we failed as parents) but I am still supporting her.
Are her charitable contributions from a Democrat’s pocket or a Republican’s??


BonusQuestion's avatar

It appears that your friend is right. At least according to this study by Mr. Brooks who is a Roman Catholic and politically independent, that has registered as both a Democrat and a Republican in the past decade.

“Brooks finds that religious conservatives are far more charitable than secular liberals, and that those who support the idea that government should redistribute income are among the least likely to dig into their own wallets to help others.”

I couldn’t find any other study.

wundayatta's avatar

It makes sense that if you believe government should redistribute the wealth, then you don’t need to do much privately. If you think charity should only be private, then you don’t want government in the business of helping people. Or perhaps vice versa.

I wonder if the CPS might help answer this question. Or the GSS. That probably wouldn’t be too hard. Sorry, thinking aloud. Current Population Survey and General Social Survey, respectively.

Poser's avatar

Rather naive (not to mention flat-out incorrect) of you to say that tithing or giving money to mega churches goes only to build bigger buildings. In less than two minutes online, I found many megachurches who are involved in community outreaches that include such things as food pantries for the poor, meals-on-wheels, counseling, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, outreaches to wounded veterans, mentoring, disaster relief, home-building, CPR and First-Aid training, foster care and adoption, and prison ministries, just to name a few. But I guess those things don’t “count,” right?

Charli's avatar

I read the article and actually it’s religious people who give more and since more religious people belong to the Republican party that’s what makes them the edge in this study. But for every study proving one thing you’ll find another that proves something else.

And I have to wonder if giving to a Church is really charity. After all look at all the money and wealth the Catholic Church has amassed and was any of it used to help people climb out of poverty or was it used to make sure the mucky mucks live the good life?

What about Independents, the fastest growing political group?

ItsAHabit's avatar

Over the years I’ve seen at least two such studies, both of which controlled for income, and both of which found that, I believe it was Republicans (or it might have been conservatives), give significantly more to charity.

Arandur's avatar

@Charli, do some honest research into the Catholic Church. It is, by far, the largest charitable institution on earth, has been for pretty much its entire history. It also has by far the widest scope of the assistance it provides, with charity programs for every facet of need. The great majority of other charities pay their workers much more and have higher administrative costs; Catholic workers willingly work for very little pay, and there is much volunteerism. Far from “amassing a ton of wealth,” many of its parishes struggle to make ends meet because of the amount given to charity, with many parishes and schools consolidating because of it, while many other “megachurches” (not talking about most “mainline Protestants” and similar) do reserve enough money to push ad campaigns and install entertainment systems.

Be honest and take a look before you spread doubt.

Some citations people were interested in (about the general topic, not about the Catholic Church)
20/20 Investigation:
Arthur C. Brooks, an author of Freakonomics and Who Really Cares?

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